Unemployment rates rising disproportionately affects Black women, new data shows.

Black unemployment rising, Black women hit hardest.

June 20th 2023.

Unemployment rates rising disproportionately affects Black women, new data shows.
Recent employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have revealed a worrying spike in unemployment rates among Black women. This unexpected change is particularly concerning given the country’s record low unemployment levels over the past year.

The unemployment rate for Black women was 4.4% in April 2023. However, this statistic had increased to 5.3% by May, leading to a substantial toll on the country’s overall unemployment rates.

Nick Bunker, the economic research director at the Indeed Hiring Lab, addressed the rise in Black unemployment, telling NBC News, “This was the most troubling sign in this report. Almost half of the increase in the number of unemployed workers was due to a spike in Black unemployment. This might be statistical noise, or it could be a sign of Black workers’ disproportionately bearing the brunt of a rise in joblessness.”

The data also highlight gender as a factor in the significant job loss within the Black labor force. Black women have been burdened with most of the fallout, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The unemployment rate for Black men has also seen an unwelcome increase, from 4.5% to 5.6%.

This rise in unemployment rates came as a surprise to many laborers. Last month, CNBC reported that the unemployment rate for Black workers had reached its lowest point in over five decades. NBC News noted that an influx of jobs within the transportation and warehouse sector had made it possible for many Black men to find work, which contributed to the low unemployment rates.

Unfortunately, these changes will have a significant impact on Black households. Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and Economy, told NBC News, “That level of economic insecurity, I think, feeds into the more harmful impact of a job loss when you don’t have another earner in your household income. And then if there are not sufficient savings to sort of fill in that loss of income until someone can find a job.”

These changes are a stark contrast to the previous years. Black unemployment rates remain considerably low in light of the 2020 record high of 16.8%, as reported by Axios. Regardless, the sudden shift in statistics is a cause for concern for many Black laborers.

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